Our Favourite Must-Try Japanese Snacks & Treats
Japanese snack foods are quite hard to find outside of Japan unless you’re looking in specialist stores like ours. We’ve brought together a list of our favourite Japanese snacks and put them into one place – read below and see if your favourite made our list!
We cannot stop, nor will we stop, eating our way through Hello Panda biscuit sweets. The cookies themselves were invented in Japan in 1979 but have become an international success thanks to their amazing taste. Each sweet is cut out in the shape of a cute little panda enjoying a range of activities which makes them especially delightful for little ones. They are especially good with bubble tea or as a lunchtime snack.
If you’re a cookie, or animal lover, then Hello Panda snacks are a definite choice. Take a look at our online store to find the beloved animal treats!
Made by Meiji, Yan Yan comes with nine cracker sticks and a chocolate, vanilla, strawberry or more recently a yoghurt flavour dipping frosting. If you’ve ever dipped something into Nutella, you have an idea how flavoursome and divine the sweet taste of Yan Yan will be. The crispy crunchy texture of the crackers perfectly complements the rich and sweet sauce.
This quintessential sweet snack has a perfect flavour for a quick snack to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Jagarico Potato Chips
Source: Jun Ohwada
Calbee crushes the Japanese potato crisp market, and with stuff like their Jagarico line, it is not hard to see why. They are so popular that, when Japan had a potato shortage in 2017 and Calbee retracted some of their products until more could be imported – people went into the streets panic buying the snack food!
The crunchy potato sticks come in dozens of flavours, following the omiyage tradition of regional specialisms. Jagarico potato sticks are made by steaming and mashing the potato before converting it back into stick form by deep frying, giving a unique extra-crunchy flavour. They also have some more adventurous flavours – tarako butter and seaweed dashi come to mind – but every batch surprises us with delicious full flavours.
Kit Kats might seem like a giant American brand, but they are even more successful in Japan. Kit Kats are the largest selling confectionary sweet in the country since 2012, fighting off competition from Meiji confectionaries to become a giant in the country. We’ve wrote recently here about the amazing interesting history of KitKats in Japan – take a look!
The wide variety of delicious flavours has made the brand so successful around the world, and Japan is no exception! In 2004, the Matcha Green Tea flavour was introduced, and in 2010 the Soy sauce flavoured Kit Kats entered stores. Both have become leading chocolate brands since. By 2015, the company served its one millionth customer and earned well over 2 billion yen. Its seventh store has recently opened in Osaka Prefecture selling exclusively Kit Kat and Nestlé goodies.
We love Kappa Ebisen! The shrimp flavoured snack has been on the market for more than 50 years now in Japan and became a household name. They are delicious fluffy bitesize sticks of shrimp chips made with unhealthy goodness that makes a great treat.
The unique balance of sweetness and saltiness in Kappa Ebisen make the batons of fluffy goodness delightful to eat. There are also a variety of different wonderful flavours – soy, strawberry, lemon, cheese, and more! If you’ve not tried one of these amazing flavours, we definitely recommend picking up a packet.
Mochi is at its core a rice cake, but there are so many different varieties of Mochi it is hard to describe what any one taste likes. The variety of flavours and recipes for the sweet treat has made it extremely popular. Mochi can be made fresh with flour and sweet rice around a sweet filling, but there are also a large number of delicious flavours available on our Japanese store online.
We love the salty-yet-sweet flavour of sakuramochi, which has a gooey delicious red bean paste centre and comes wrapped in a pickled cherry blossom (i.e. sakura) leaf. Taro Mochi also has a delicious flavour of taro root in its centre, wrapped and encased in tasty sweet rice.
Do you love these snacks as much as we do? Let us know on social media or in the comments below! We also stock lots of Japanese snack foods in our online store, so take a look today.